Filling a synthetic stock

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Albtraum, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. Albtraum

    Albtraum Well-Known Member

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    How do i go about doing this? I want to improve my flimsy and lightweight Savage axis stock by filling it with a hardening resin or putty, to make it more rigid. I was wondering what product is best to use? I've seen stocks done with epoxy, others with Bondo. Weight isn't an issue, I want it heavier so it holds more steady, but I want it balanced. I'm thinking about filling both the forend as well as the butt stock, which is all hollowed out. And with the bipod, the balance is off a little bit already, I'm thinking about adding lead weights all the way in the butt stock, near the curve of the grip. Also, where is the balance point of a rifle should be, at the grip, or more towards the trigger, or more towards the magazine?

    here's the hollow thing

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  2. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

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    I use a carbon fiber arrow (cut obviously) and epoxy resin bc it covers and is pour-able.
     
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  3. WHSmithIV

    WHSmithIV Well-Known Member

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    You're going to have to be careful if you're going to do something like that with the fore end. You don't want to mess up the seating of the barrel. The butt stock is easier. Just fill it with a simple resin that won't conflict chemically with the polymer of the stock. I'd contact Savage about it since they are the only ones who know precisely what they used in that synthetic stock.

    On the other hand, you could go simple. Just get a wood stock made for it. That would probably be close to the same cost and a lot less work.
     
  4. Albtraum

    Albtraum Well-Known Member

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    I figure that if I don't fill those gaps all the way to the top, I shouldn't have a problem, and can always sand it down if there is any kind of contact. I would love to have a wood, or laminate stock, but due to the recoil lug design on the Edge/Axis models, it makes things complicated.... I've emailed Boyd's and they said they can't do it. I don't want to put a lot of money into the rifle, just want to stiffen and add weight to the stock
     
  5. bntyhntr6975

    bntyhntr6975 Member

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    Last synthetic stock i stiffened up, i used a piece of 1/2" think aluminum block, contoured the width to match where i removed the webbing, and epoxy'd it in. I stayed about 1/2" away from the front sling stud, but went ahead and epoxy'd around it too, just because. Bar i used was about 6 1/2" long if i remember right. For the buttstock, i hung it up (butt up) and put about 1/2" layer of general purpose caulking in it every few hrs till it was almost full. Put the plate back on and it was done. Granted, this stock was for a heavy barrel, so may be too much rear weight for yours. Mine balances out nicely, no hollow feel or sound, and no stock flex or bounce when using the bipod. It shoots 1 hole groups at 100 all day long.
     
  6. Albtraum

    Albtraum Well-Known Member

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    So epoxy is the ideal filler? When would fiberglass resin/ Bondo be used?
     
  7. bntyhntr6975

    bntyhntr6975 Member

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    When youre bedding the action into a good stock.
     
  8. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    the problem youre going to have Alb is getting something to bond to the plastic stock. Fiberglass resin looks great at first, then just shoot it a couple times and then take the barreled action back loose and take a look. Resin cubes will come out of the ice trays like ice cubes do from an ice cube mold.

    Epoxy works best, but will need somewhat of a modified surface to adhere to. The cheapest form of usable epoxy suitable too this task is JB Weld. You will need to prep the surface to be epoxied by sanding it rough and drilling holes all in it to increase the surface area the epoxy will come into contact with. The next trick to getting the epoxy to permanently bond with the stock is to prep the surface of the bedding area with something that absolutely does bind with fiberglass reinforced plastics. I find superglue works fantastically, and use Gorilla glue brand Super Glue and a small flux brush, available at any hardware store in the pipe sweat dept. Once the superglue is set and dry tot he touch its time to ready your epoxy.

    In this case Alb you will pretty much want to bed the entire fore end to the barrel. But you don't want it to contact the barrel after its set and done. Wrap the barrel with a couple layers of electrical tape so that it will float over the epoxy bed afterward. apply a release agent to the barreled action and tape. Also a good idea to apply some in the action area of the stock, the rule of thumb is, anywhere you don't want epoxy to be permanently bonded, put release.

    Many things can be used as a release agent. One of the cheapest sources, and one I use myself, is Kiwi neutral shoe polish. the paste that comes in a small flat can.

    Mix enough Epoxy so that you will have adequate squeeze-out when you mate the barreled action to the stock. And take care to make darn sure you have plenty of release packed into and around the recoil lug recess in the action, as well as the action screws. And leave the bolt out of it, just in case you get some epoxy into the action via the front action screw.

    Now that ive thoroughly scared the bejesus out of you its time to bolt the two together and spend an hour or so on damage control. You will want to mask the outside of the stock to protect from epoxy squeeze-out. once you bolt the two together you should have a good amount of surplus epoxy running out between the barrel and stock. take care to collect the excess and not let it get on the stock where its not masked or on the barreled action where its not released. Leave a fair amount of excess at the barrel/stock area because it will draw slightly as it hardens.

    Another tip is to save the excess in the original mixing container so you can use it to monitor hardness. once its fairly hard (comparable to a hot glue stick in hardness and flexibility) you will be able to separate the barreled action from the stock and begin clean-up. If you use JB Weld this is about the 6-7 hour mark depending on temp.

    At this point the semi-hardened epoxy will cut fairly easily with a razor blade. I use an exacto knife. It will be much easier on you to clean it up in short order. get it cleaned, remove the electrical tape from the barrel and make sure no epoxy made its way into the action, screws, recoil lug recess, or into the action/magazine area of the stock. if it did it will be fairly easy to remove at this point. you can use a dental pick to get it out of the tight corners. As long as you used plenty of release the stray epoxy globs will pop right loose.

    Once cleaned and youre happy with the bedding reassemble the rifle. No need to re release as the epoxy is mostly cured on the outside and wont stick to the barreled action.

    As for the buttstock, I would fill it with silicone. Regular ol clear household silicone that you can pick up at home depot for like 3 bucks a tube. The reason for silicone is simple. Its heavy, so it will help to counterbalance the rifle, and best of all, its a vibration dampener. it will suck the recoil impulse out of the firing rifle and improve harmonics. which, as long as you are a fundamentally sound shooter, will improve your groups. The silicone will take several days to fully cure since there will be so much in there. But theres not really a reason to allow it time to fully cure. just long enough so the surface is dried so it wont glue the buttpad in and youre good to go. Plus later on its fairly easy to remove should you need to because it doesn't really bond to the stock. it just clings to it.
     
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  9. Albtraum

    Albtraum Well-Known Member

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    Thanks a bunch JLA! I will be following this step by step. It really is like an ice cube tray. So those are the only areas I fill up right? Nothing past the recoil lug under the action? And when I go to trim off the excess squeeze-out, should that be trimmed low enough to where it can't be seen with the barrel back on or trim it at an angle above the top of the stock? Will JB Weld be noticeably heavier than Epoxy?
     
  10. claudehill

    claudehill New Member

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  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    JB weld IS epoxy. And yes it is quite heavy.
     
  12. WynnJones

    WynnJones New Member

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    Claudhill, I have used this product that you are referring to. It works quite well.

    Albtraum, I recently did this exact same thing to my Axis, using the stock filler from Terminal Ballistics. Following that, I bedded the rifle using the bedding compound from them as well, and it definitely shoots sub MOA.

    I think you have been given good direction on this thread. The Axis stock is like an ice cube tray; just make sure the stock is level and the stock filler (if it is thin enough, and the compound from Terminal Ballistics is) will fill in nice and evenly. For me, I just filled to the top if the skeletal stiffeners inside the stock, that way you do not have to worry about the barrel touching the dried compound when you put it all back together. If you do happen to get too much in there, you can either sand it down or grind it out with a dremmel.

    You do need to create mechanical locks for the compound to properly adhere to the stock. I used a piece of wire (a coathanger), heated up the end with a propane torch, and just melted small holes into the side walls of the stock. See pic. You want it to look almost like a golf ball, I should have put in more locks.

    The other pic is what it looked like after I poured in the compound. I left the recoil lug in place. If I had it to do over, I would have removed the recoil lug and simply masked that recess or filled it in with plastecine, because after I strengthened the stock, I bedded the action, and that recoil lug area needed to be hogged out anyway to make room for the bedding compound.

    The website referenced above has some great instructions that will help you through this process as well.
     

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  13. WynnJones

    WynnJones New Member

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    I also wanted to mention, the feel of the stock was a night and day difference after the reinforcement and bedding job. The rifle was more balanced, and it definitely felt more stout and much stronger than before. It took care of any flex that was in the cheap stock.
     
  14. dakrobbins

    dakrobbins New Member

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    Hey guys newbie here. This seems to be the best thread I have found about bedding an Axis in my week or so of searching. I'm looking to bed my Axis 22-250 and have a few seemingly stupid questions to ask just so I don't screw this up. Using the JB weld method, do you stiffen the stock and bed it all in one step? Do you fill in the slot where the recoil lug goes with JB weld and permanently fix it in place? Do I use the stock action screws to put the action in place or do I need to get long headless bolts like demonstrated in the ballistics studies videos? I'm sure there are more questions I have, but these seem like a good place to start. Thanks for any help.
    Dakotah
     
  15. oldfartrr

    oldfartrr Active Member

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    u can use the stock screws, just make sure to coat them good with release agent,, also DO NOT tighten them all the way,, back-off about a half turn so you have a better lockup for the action...where u dont want epoxy use masking tape , the blue stuff works much better then the white-yellow kind, to cover any openings like for the magazine area, and around the trigger mechanism,, so the epoxy doesnt get inside and screw things up,, some times if you have a tight fit you may have to rap the barrel and top of the action with a soft wood or rubber mallet to get things to release..
     
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